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Tourist Information Guide, Cusco Peru
Travel planner to Cusco, Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Sacred valley and all of Cusco Peru

Cusco Viajes-----




1.-    The Cathedral
2.-    Church of San Blas
3.-    Santa Catalina Convent
4.-    Church of San Francisco
5.-    La Merced Church
6.-    Church of La Compañia de Jesus 
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The construction of the cathedral of Cuzco began into 1564, it will be completed one century later. The pink volcanic stones of its frontage were torn off from the citadel of Saqsaywamán. In the vaults, the profusion of paintings of the school of Cuzco transforms the cathedral into a museum.

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San blas Churches

San Blas is today a downtown neighborhood in the city known as the " Artists' District", with narrow and writhing streets, most of them steep. In Inkan times it was one of the most important districts of Qosqo and its name was "T'oqo-kachi" (T'oqo = hollow; kachi = salt). Like the other districts it was inhabited by the Quechua nobility. It seems that the church was erected over an Inkan Sanctuary devoted to cult of the "Illapa" god (Thunder, Lightning and Thunderbolt). It was possibly opened for the first time in 1544 by the city's second Bishop Juan Solano. Although some other versions say that it was after 1559 as consequence of viceroy Andres Hurtado de Mendoza's order by which "Indians" had to built churches for their indoctrination in the districts where they lived. Its structure was simple with a rectangular floor plan and mud brick walls, but after the earthquakes in 1650 and 1950 it was partially reinforced with stone walls. It has just one nave and two gates before which there are big plazas; and a stone bell tower constructed after the 1950 earthquake instead of the original made with mud bricks.

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Santa Catalina Convent  cusco peru

Santa Catalina
Built by the Spanish between 1601 and 1610 on top of Acllahuasi, where the Inca emperor once housed his chosen Virgins of the Sun, this convent and museum houses an interesting collection of colonial and religious art. Like other attractions in Cusco, this museum has a number of pieces from the Cusqueña School, an art movement emphasizing the union of both Inca and Spanish culture. In addition to baroque frescoes depicting Inca vegetation, the chapel also houses macabre statues of Jesus, beautifully painted arches, and 17th century tapestries. Perhaps the highlight of this site is a trunk of 3D figurines which recount the life of Christ. Objects such as this were popular devices used by the Catholic Church’s “traveling salesmen,” who were responsible for converting many of the indigenous people throughout Peru.

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Church of San Francisco cusco peru

The Franciscan Order was founded by Saint Francis native from Assisi in present-day Italy, toward the beginning of XIII century. The Franciscans arrived to Qosqo by the first years of the conquest and were located by the San Blas district, later in the Nazarenas Square, in the ancient Qasana palace belonging to Inka Pachakuteq in the Main Square and finally in their present-day location over the San Francisco Square toward 1549. It is not known who the architect was that designed the present-time building; however, it is known that Francisco Dominguez Chavez y Arellano, a Cusquenian architect who worked as the chief mason finished it.

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La Merced Church cusco peru

The baroque-style colonial church and convent of La Merced was built between 1657 and 1680. The original church built on this site in 1536 was destroyed in the 1650 earthquake which devastated much of Cusco. La Merced is considered to be the third most important colonial church in Cusco, after the Cathedral and La Compania.

Inside the church are paintings based on the life of San Pedro Nolasco, who founded the Order of La Merced. One of the most impressive treasures in La Merced is a gold shrine with precious gems, found in the sacristy. Also contained in La Merced are the remains of the conquistadors Diego del Almagro and Gonzalo Pizzaro.

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Church of La Compañia de Jesus cusco peru
Church of La Compañia de Jesus

Iglesia de la Compañia
The Iglesia de la Compañia, in Cuzco. Going back to 1576, it was raised by the Jesuits, with whom one attributes the ambition to have wanted to eclipse the cathedral, on the site of Amarukancha, the palace of Huayna Càpac. Its baroque frontage out of cut stone is splendid.

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